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Stocks end lower in directionless trade over U.S.-China tensions

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Stocks closed slightly lower in directionless trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Monday, with vigorous transactions held in check due to concerns over escalating trade tensions between the United States and China.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average lost 17.86 points, or 0.08 percent, to end at 22,507.32.

On Friday, the key market gauge inched up 12.65 points.

The TOPIX index of all First Section issues dropped 9.68 points, or 0.56 percent, to 1,732.90, after falling 9.51 points the previous trading day.

Both indexes were firmer in morning trading, with investor sentiment lifted by solid gains in Chinese stocks, market sources said.

In the afternoon, however, the indexes lost steam and sank into negative territory as Chinese stocks turned lower.

The Tokyo stock market was dragged down by “uncertainty over the course of the U.S.-China trade dispute,” said Chihiro Ota, general manager for investment research and investor services at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc.

Falling issues far outnumbered rising ones 1,486 to 540 in the First Section, while 77 issues were unchanged.

Volume fell to 1,350 million shares from 1,399 million shares on Friday.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key September contract on the Nikkei average ended down 20 points at 22,490.Speech

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